Classic Brownies

from Anne Strawberry

from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, page 88

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional, but really good)- note- I left this out and doubled the vanilla

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (according to taste- I used the full amount to bring out the chocolate flavor)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans- yum!)

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolates and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted - you don't want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

With a whisk, stir in the sugar. Don't be concerned when your smooth mixture turns grainy. One by one, whisk in the eggs. Add the vanilla and give the ingredients a vigorous whisking before gently stirring the espresso, if you are using it, salt and flour; stir only until incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the chopped walnuts.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula.

Bake the brownies for 30 to 33 minutes, or until the top is dull and a thin knife inserted into the center come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the brownies to room temperature.

When the brownies are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares, each a scant 2 inches on a side.

Serving: Like all great brownies, these are good eaten out of hang without a bit of embellishment or topped off with whipped or ice cream (coffee ice cream is really good with these), offered either way at room temperature or a bit chilled.

Storing recommendations: These are best served within 2 days of baking. If you're going to keep them at room temperature, just cut what you need and keep the remainder wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. To freeze for up to 2 months, wrap the brownies airtight.